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The Ultra Cheap Mesa boogie

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by carver, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    What a decent day yesterday..

    went to the drum shop with a buddy, bought some new gear.

    found a mesa boogie F 100 for 500 cdn. decided why the hell not.. I admit, I only really know a little bit about this line of amp, but I did figure for 500 whats the worst that could happen?

    Lets start with the drive.

    on low volumes. IT IS HORRIBLE - sounds like you are trying to play through a blanket. But.. bring that master up, and it all of a sudden just decides to wake up, and man it has a mean voice. So attenuator it is for home playing, but I highly doubt I will use this amp outside of one simple application... and that is.

    THE CLEAN SOUND. its amazing.. it WONT break up until you get to blistering levels. It works and feels like a black face fender, and it takes pedals equally as well.

    I am using this amp as my main looper rig now, because the clean is just so powerful and clear. the Mark V is now my lead tone amp, and I couldnt be happier. I felt like using the mark V for the looper rig was selling that amp short because it has so much more to offer... now I get to flex its muscles in the right places. Thank you F100 for taking over the looper side of life

    what else is there to mention... oh yeah...
    this is like the mesa that wasnt a mesa.. its really quite neat. the Clean tone is all Black face fender, kinda mid scooped and sparkly, and the drive. its pure marshall when you get the amp cranked up.. not that highly focused mid range tone youd expect from a boogie.

    so yeah,. whatever I guess. here is another amp. I like it. its loud its proud, I wouldnt spend 1000 on it though. 500 was a nice little pocket that just seemed to fit for me. mes.jpg
     

  2. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    53
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Congats @carver :thumb:

    I've had a few F Series Mesas, and I always called them the "Mesa for Marshall lovers"

    The Series II model with the Contour control is much more Mesa sounding than the Series I.
    They're great amps, very under appreciated.
     
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  3. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    very cool, so this guy must be a first version. it has the contour, but only on the gain channel. it sounds a lot like a hard V on a 5 band.

    its also pretty cool that you also hear the marshall in this mesa... they are powerful amps.. @TheDuck
     
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  4. oatsoda

    oatsoda Puck of Paradox Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Jul 10, 2011
    The Shack, Nova Scotia
    Neato. Don't see those very often in our local funny papers.
     
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  5. Lonn

    Lonn Mod Admin Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Admin Post
    Nice! Here's the ultra cheap Mesa that's not really a Mesa. Acoustic Control Corp. This is on my local CL for $450. I had a similar one last year and literally threw out my back just lifting the head off the floor. I'm still tempted though.

    00R0R_9ZxdCp3m47q_600x450.jpg
     
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  6. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    @Lonn those are cool and you dont seem them every day thats for sure. pretty sure is similar to a mark 2.
     
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  7. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Lost Planet Airman Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    Cool Beans! HNAD!
     
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  8. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    53
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    Yes, and no.
    The F Series is closer to the Mark than the Recto Series amps, but its still its own beast.
    It doesnt have the smooth midrange of the Mark Series, more like a JPM or early JCM Marshall.

    The contour is indeed a mid scoop, low/high boost switch. I had one with a contour knob that was really nice. I dont remember the specifics though, it was more than a few years ago.

    I dont know how familiar you are with the F Series amps, but their tone stack is very different from say, a Fender or Marshall amp.
    The treble control is in fact, an additional gain knob, and has a huge impact on the controls after it in the stack.
    For example, if you "dime" the treble, the mid and low knobs will have less effect.

    You'll get the idea as you use the amp, and I think you'll be very happy with it. Though your neighbors may not share your enthusiasm.
     
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  9. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    ah i was talking about the amp that lonn posted. that thing is like a mark 2...

    the f series is very much a marshall style amp. couldnt agree more. I love the way the EQ reacts in mesa amps.
     
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  10. TheDuck

    TheDuck Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    53
    Jan 12, 2016
    Lil' Rhody
    LOL,,, oops, sorry
     
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  11. bluejazzoid

    bluejazzoid Strats Amore Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 14, 2009
    Southeast USA
    I used to gig with an F-50 regularly, and those F series amps indeed have great cleans and are a nice pedal platform. I used the drive occasionally, but like you say it really needs to be cranked to sound good... good thing you have an attenuator with that F-100! :D

    You might want to try what some others recommended to help with the drive channel: run an EQ pedal in the effects loop to shape the tone to your liking.
     
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  12. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    I do have a five band in the effects loop. it really makes everything round out and come to life.
     

  13. RichieS

    RichieS Strat-Talker

    Age:
    38
    268
    Sep 1, 2016
    The City
    Congrats on the new amp! F series are some great amps. I've had an F-30 for a while that's my #1

    BTW, just seeing your F-100's master set around 2 o'clock is making my ears bleed! :D
     
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  14. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    We were jamming with it pretty hard last night. :)

    I will do it again too.

    I play the mark v as my lead tone, and it just blends so nicely with the cleans from the 100.
     
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  15. mshivy

    mshivy Most Honored Senior Member

    Congrats! Nice score, hope his get sone quality time with that amp in the new year
     
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  16. Fender Phil

    Fender Phil Strat-Talker

    I got my F-100 212 from the local Long and McQuade for $500 CDN.
    It is one heavy beast that just needed to come home with me when I saw it.
    The cleans rival any big Fender that I have owned (Super Six, Twin, Concert 410 and 210 used together). I actually know it is better, because I no longer miss those amps, no more sellers regret.
    You can use headphones with this amp; there is a switch on the chassis for that option. I sold my Mesa V-Twin unit, because this amp outshines it, and the money I got for it almost paid for the F-100.
    The secret to awesome drive is to roll back the treble all the way to zero, then add to what your ears like. At lower volumes I have the treble rolled all the way down. The drive will really surprise you when you do this.
    This has become my favourite basement practice amp. Single coils just shine and a humbucker just sings. This amp is made for Telecasters. The contour just takes things to another level.
    I also got the footswitch with mine.
    The half power setting is fine most of the time. In fact when you start to think “how can this amp get any better.” Just throw the switch to the full four 6L6 tubes. The already fat tone, just gets fatter, lusher, more sparkle. Even at low volume.
    The UK made Celestion V30s are a very good match for this amp, and I keep a Dr. Z Trainwreck Airbrake attenuator plugged in ready, in case I get carried away volume wise.
    I wish mine was a head unit, but mine came with casters. I am keeping my eyes open for an empty head Cab.
    Other than the 100 pound weight issue, you can’t ask for a better amp.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  17. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    This pretty much nails what I experienced with the head. I am running it into an old Fender bandmaster 1964 cab with two Eminence Crex speakers. The cleans are killer
    I also have the same attenuator as you! its a great unit! I havent used it yet with the f100, I use my mark v 90 and mark v 25 watts at home more. I find they can just get better tones at lower volumes.
    I picked it up to run my pedal board through. I needed a solid solid clean platform that was fat and ballsy. Thank you Mesa for supplying what I needed.
     

  18. Fender Phil

    Fender Phil Strat-Talker

    Honestly, the lower volumes are outstanding, both clean and driven. It takes some tweaking with the gain and volume knobs for the driven tone, and cut the treble all the way off when you are playing driven at lower volumes.

    And yes, this amp wants to be pushed, and pushed hard. The harder the push, the bigger the smile, the greater the need for the Airbrake. It is a shame to need ear protection. Once the insanity’s passes, it is hard to return to low volume playing.

    These amps do low volume better than most of the low and mid powered amp that own, or have owned.
     

  19. Seekir

    Seekir Strat-Talker

    Age:
    64
    126
    Mar 11, 2015
    Hilo, Hawaii
    Here's mine, I paid $640 for it gladly. Oddly, it sounds good at low volumes to me (and loud too). And oh, it's red: Mesa&Strat2.jpg
     
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  20. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    well... I think I figured out why my amp sounded like a blanket covered the world at low volumes.

    the amp was apparently serviced before I bought it.

    BS.

    Only 2 out of 4 power tubes were working. the inside 2 were dead, and for some reason the amp still worked on the 100 watt setting. but of course due to the two internal tubes being fried the 60 watt setting wasnt functioning.

    I put in a matched quad of sovtek 5881s last night and instantly had to turn the volume down from about 2oclock to 10:30 ish. the lows were lower, the highs were crisp.
    what a difference.

    Serviced my ass. Im all for retubing an amp I buy used. dont get me wrong. but dont mislead someone to think their amp has no need for servicing. be upfront. "yeah the tubes are the originals" no problem, that wont stop a sale from happening. now I want to give the seller a solid grimace. the frownin of a life time. I dont like liars.